HIDDEN Rookwood Sculptures is a free annual outdoor sculpture exhibition, taking place since 2009 among the pathways and gardens in one of the oldest sections of Rookwood Cemetery, on Dharug Land.
Rookwood Cemetery is Australia's largest and most multicultural cemetery: rich in heritage, traditions, and layered narratives. Drawing over 6 000 visitors and significant media coverage in 2022, HIDDEN is back this year in October and November with a brand-new exhibition with a diversity of artists.
Last year, The WEST Journal sponsored the Western Sydney Artist Award and will again present this award at HIDDEN 2023. We are deeply proud to be a part of this free event to the public and one right in our own backyard. It’s a beautiful day out and full of surprise, delight, and intrigue.
In 2022, the recipient of the Western Sydney Artist Award was Maissa Alameddine for her work ‘ Songs for Sitti: prayers for my grandmother’. This was an informative dynamic and visual audio piece that captured a beautiful soundscape honouring the memory of her grandmother’s passing. It also delved into the disconnect felt by the migrant families who do not get the chance to say a proper goodbye to loved ones.
WEST can’t wait to see who the winner of the 2023 award will be!
HIDDEN 2023 has three categories: Sculptures, Schools and Stonemasons. The exhibition will span contemporary, diverse, and traditional art forms. With artworks from creatives of all ages, experiences, and backgrounds. From school children and teenagers to apprentices and tertiary art students to established stonemasons and professional contemporary artists.
The long-running Sculptures category will again feature an intriguing range of contemporary artworks by midcareer, established, and emerging artists. It will feature works across a wide range of artistic approaches, materials, and forms. There will be a broad span of works ranging from celebratory, big, bright, and colourful, through to personal, contemplative, and thought-provoking.
The inaugural Schools section will share insights into the creative imaginations of school children and teenagers.
Also introduced for the first time in HIDDEN 2023 is the Stonemasons category which will bring the public up close to see the traditional, finely honed, hand-carving skills of living stonemasons. Focusing on gothic architectural details, these new stoneworks will be set in the context of Rookwood Cemetery’s heritage and historic array of stonemason carvings on headstones, vaults, and memorials, spanning the past 150 years.
All works in each category will respond to the context of Rookwood in some way, such as the cemetery’s contemporary relevance, diverse cultural practices, historical significance, celebration of life, personal stories, or evocative sense of place.
While you explore the exhibition, recognise how each work engages with one or more of the HIDDEN themes: contemplation, history, culture, remembrance, diversity, love, loss, mourning, spirituality, relationships, memory, community, cycles of life and the passage of time.
HIDDEN 2023 will run from 21 October – 19 November and is open from sunrise to sunset with a free audio tour and map for visitors. It’s a celebration of diversity and art, and we recommend diving deep into the program to make the most of the curator tours, artist talks, and other elements of the public program.
Exhibition dates: 21 October – 19 November 2023
· Free entry
· Open sunrise to sunset
· Free audio tour and map
· Full-colour catalogue to raise funds for Friends of Rookwood restoration projects.
· Public program with curator tours and artist talks